STAYING AT HOME!

So it is a couple of weeks since my last post, and I’ve continued to weed the garden, every day until a couple of days ago when it started to rain. Much needed but disappointing that I didn’t quite finish weeding and tidying the final border in the back garden – well only just started it actually. As you can see the garden is looking fairly OK now. Still have the front borders to do as well.

Fishpond with pole growing well!!
The Gnome seems happy!
Just a weeded Border.

Additionally a couple of objects for the garden have been put together. A Bed Bed for Valerie and a cover for the carrots to stop the carrot root fly. Here is the Bed Bed, the carrot cover is too boring to photograph. The Bed Bed has now had a liner and soil put in and seeds planted. Let’s see how well it grows.

Bed Bed

Sadly one of the hens has passed away so only five are left now, and they are old so not laying much. Three (or four) new hens have been ordered from Katie at Rectory Farm in Thurston. http://www.purebreedpoultry.com/ and these will be collected in early June, hopefully.

Peas are coming up nicely in the gutters in which we start them off and will be ready to go out next week some time. Sweetcorn, Runner Beans, Courgettes, Marrows and Squashes will be set in the next few days. Yes, later than most people but it works in our garden.

Our daily walks are taking us to places where we have never been in the 26+ years we have lived here. Hundred Lane is a really good walk although we have only walked part of it so far. It is close to where East and West Suffolk meet and this is the bridge across the border, and an Oak Tree from another walk because I like taking photos of old Oak Trees.

Where East meets West – Suffolk
Oak Tree in Hantons Lane, Gt. Ashfield

Interestingly this morning, we saw a family taking a goose for a walk. Yes, a goose. They weren’t talkative so we couldn’t ask about it or take a photo. Social distancing at its best! Reminded me of the old paintings of flocks of geese etc. being driven to market.

Finally, as I’ve probably bored you enough, here is an Aquilegia flower for all our wonderful NHS people and everyone else helping to keep the country running.

Aquilegia Flower

And finally, finally here is a Spitfire to wish Captain/Colonel Tom a very happy 100th birthday.

Grace Spitfire ML407, Felixstowe, Suffolk – 4th August 2013

Settling Down

So the Easter “break” is over and we hope everyone found ways to enjoy themselves at home and all are safe and well. Our virtual Easter Eggstravangaza went rather well on Saturday I thought. It was good to be able to see friends in New Zealand as well as more local friends and family though the wonders of Zoom.

I guess everyone will now start to settle into the routine of our new, and hopefully temporary, “normal” as it seems it will be like this for the next few weeks. Locally everyone still seems to be adhering to the new rules on social distancing and being very polite, although I do find that some Lycra-clad cyclists with racing bikes seem to think they own the road and social-distancing is not for them.

I amused myself on my early Sunday morning run/jog by running along the white lines in the middle of the road through Walsham-le-Willows to see how far I could get before seeing a car. Managed about three quarters of the way through the village before a car or two came along. Can’t think where they were going that early on Easter Sunday morning – churches and shops closed, and I guess pharmacies too. I hope they were NHS, Carer or other key workers.

I do find it rather odd that a lot of people seem to be having difficulty staying at home. I have great sympathy for those living in flats or apartments who are not able to get out at all, and those self-isolating for 12 weeks without being able to leave home, but when we were young we didn’t go out much. A week (sometimes two) in August to Sheringham staying with various Aunts was our only holiday of the year. We might have the occasional Sunday bus jaunt to an Aunt and Uncle but never more than about 10- 15 miles from home. Very occasionally we might go on the bus into the fine city of Norwich – a monumental 12 miles away. The rest of the time we were in the house or garden or around our home town of Aylsham. Of course, the current rules are more restrictive, but they will only be temporary.

The largest border in the garden has now been thoroughly weeded and most of the Ground Elder and Celandine removed as you will see from the picture. This was done over a number of days because of the heat, then the cold! Broad Beans have also been set out in the garden as you can see. Three rows of Carrots have also gone in.

Large Border, Hopbines Garden
Broad Beans, Hopbines Garden

Daily walks continue and new routes are under consideration. Here are a couple of photos from last week on a warm and sunny morning just 15 minutes walk from home.

Wood, Gt. Ashfield/Daisy Green
Blackthorn Blossom, Daisy Green

Will post again soon.

I’m just so busy

You would have thought that with not being able to go out, or do any of my Table Tennis stuff, I would have plenty of time to write. Not so. If fact it has been busier than ever here. Six new vegetable beds were completed by the end of March and a photo is below. This turned out to be a heavy and drawn out task. Getting each of the beds level was the most time-consuming. Replacing is always much more difficult than a having a “green field” site. Anyway the sides may need a bit more internal support but I will see how they work for a while first.

Six New Vegetable Beds

50 potatoes have been planted in one bed and another 24 in potato sacks. 3 rows of Tender & True Parsnip seeds were set today. Valerie has been extremely busy over the past few weeks setting seeds. Many of these are nearly ready to be pricked out. Indeed the Tomatoes and Chilli seedlings have been potted on in the last couple of days.

My annual battle against Ground Elder has started. There will only be one winner though – the Ground Elder. A neighbour said he had tried to kill a patch of Ground Elder with chemicals (not something I would ever condone) but it still came up the next year! The best I will do is reduce the spread a bit.

We have had some good local walks recently and saw three Roe Deer the other day. There were a long way away but here is a reasonable ( I think) photo of them.

Roe Deer near Badwell Ash Hall, Suffolk

There were also some good cloud formations .

Clouds near Long Thurlow, Suffolk

So we start week 3 of the Stay at Home – Protect the NHS – Save Lives campaign and hope everyone is complying. In our sleepy hamlet everyone seems to be doing so. Ironically we have seen more people walking the local footpaths to shout “Hello” to than we usually do. Everyone is keeping the required distance though. Sadly the father of one of our neighbours has succumbed to Coronavirus. We didn’t know him and he didn’t live locally but it makes you realise how important is reducing contact with others everywhere. As well as the NHS of course, there are many others working to keep us fed and healthy. So just a big thank you to Suffolk Dairies of Stowmarket who continue to deliver our milk every day.

Hopefully, now that all the urgent garden stuff is nearing completion these Blogs might be more regular – or not. Stay safe and well.